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Court sets aside Dirco decision to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity

The ruling has now paved the way for Mugabe to be extradicted to face prosecution.

FILE: Former Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe. Picture: EWN

PRETORIA - The High Court in Johannesburg has set aside the International Relations Department's decision to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity.

The former Zimbabwean first lady allegedly assaulted Gabriella Engels at a hotel in August last year but was allowed to leave the country without being prosecuted.

The ruling has now paved the way for Mugabe to be extradited to face charges.

High Court judge Bashier Vally found the decision to grant Mugabe diplomatic immunity was inconsistent with the Constitution.

The decision was made by former International Relations Minister Maite Nkoane-Mashabane.

Vally did not read his entire judgment into the record, just the order.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and AfriForum had argued that Mugabe was not entitled to automatic diplomatic immunity because she was the spouse of a head of state.

The International Relations Department claimed that it did not grant the immunity, but rather recognised it under international law.

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